Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cows + Rye = ....

Last week  I posted some pictures of the cows going out onto the rye field for the first time this spring.  They were beside themselves with excitement...yes cows can get excited!  They enjoyed several hours of grazing before we brought them back into the barn.

Then the rain came...

The ground became too soft to let them out.  Their hooves would have made horrible tracks in the meadow and rye field, destroying the tender new growth.  So...they were forced to be patient.

This is what they have to look forward to when it dries off...

Jim seeded this field of rye in the fall with two things in mind.  First of all it's a cover crop; it helps to prevent erosion and puts valuable nutrients back into the soil.  Second, we can graze the cows on it this spring until it's time to plant corn.  At that time, the corn will be no-tilled into the ground.

For now, he will section the field off into small areas where the cows will graze on a rotating basis.  I guarantee you...there will be no complaining from them on this arrangement!

Neither will there be complaints from the farmers!  After two short days of grazing on the rye, the volume of milk in the tank had increased by an average of four pounds per cow, per day!



  1. Looks great! Those are going to be some really happy cows when they get out there again. We no-till as well!

  2. Alica I cant believe you have green we still have brown with shades of yuck. It will be great to see my cows happy on pasture like the smiles on your cows faces when you let them in. B

  3. Looks gorgeous. Your husband did an excellent job. I know the cows will love you for it. :)

  4. WOW , thats wonderful lots of yummy milk from the girls. they will be soo happy to munch on that beautiful green field. Have a great day !

  5. Wow! 4 # more of milk a day! How many pounds do they normally produce a day? This is the city girl wonderin' :)

  6. Cheryl - right now our cows are averaging in the 72 lb. per day range. That fluctuates depending on the weather, their forages (what they're eating) and where they are in their lactations. A cow who has been fresh and milking for 2-3 months is usually milking the heaviest, and in the spring when the cows go out on grass, they usually pick up as well!

  7. Wow that seems like a big increase : )

  8. Alica, I don't know how I found your blog, but I've really enjoyed paging through and reading your farm posts! I had to chuckle at the pics of the cows scampering off to the rye fields. I could practically hear them mmmmmunch, muuuuuunch, mmmmmm. Looking forward to reading more. :-D

  9. wow! what a lush, beautiful field of rye! Your cows will surely be in heaven!

  10. I was blog surfing today and found your blog. I really wanted to give credit to where I found you, but I just can't find where it was. BUT, I am so glad I found your blog! I love it. I am a country girl at heart and my dream has always been to live on a farm (although I probably won't) but I'm within a 3-minute drive to the closest one living in Madison, WI.

    This post was just awesome. I spent time at a friend's farm helping her train a green horse and loved seeing her cows and catching glimpses of their personalities. I had no idea cows like yours would be so excited to go to their little rye field. How precious.

  11. You have a wonderful blog! (Came from Verde Farm hop) We're still fairly new to farm life and I've enjoyed all I've learned here. We have rye as a cover crop and you've made me want a cow now! ;-) Congrats on your goats!
    Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Easter


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